Recently I addressed in some comments this subject of who a Christian is – and who is not. As you know, we have had the tiring mantra of “we are all sinners” thrown at us as an excuse for abusers and as a club to force us to “show love and forgiveness.” We aren’t buying that line anymore. The Christian is not a sinner. We still sin, but “sinner” is no longer the title Scripture gives us. Saint, heir, child of God, beloved, holy ones – these are the terms the Bible uses.
Mat 10:12-15 As you enter the house, greet it. (13) And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. (14) And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. (15) Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.
Much of what I write these days is repetition. I have written about these subjects before. But truth needs to be repeated, and repeated, and repeated. Often. It takes hearing something over and over before we finally “see” it. And so here it is, once more.
Many (probably most) churches today have been teaching unbiblical concepts of the love of Christ. “Unconditional love” seems to be the catch phrase. We are told that we must never give up on anyone. That no matter what they have done, we must love them. And by “love them,” most often what is meant is that we must continue to have a relationship with them, expend energies trying to “fix” them, and so on. This mantra of course leaves the domestic abuse victim sitting forever in abuse.
Joh 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (35) By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
1Co 13:1-2 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. (2) And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
Every real Christian, that is people who have truly been born again, have been taught to love one another by the Spirit of Christ in them. This is our new creation nature in Jesus. His Law is written on our hearts so that it is part of who the new man is. And this is why Jesus and Paul and other biblical authors tell us that love, the real love of Christ, is THE evidence that we know Him. Specifically, this love is love for Christ and love for Christ’s people. Certainly we show love toward unbelievers as well in various ways but the real test is a person’s response to the Lord and to His people. The “nicest” pagan to be found will eventually cease to be “nice” if pressed in regard to his thoughts on Jesus.
Paul tells the Corinthians that a person can wear the finest most convincing “holy” disguise all they like, if they do not love then they are phonies.